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ViacomCBS restructures for streaming

Pierluigi Gazzolo, president of streaming and studios at ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI), will leave the company at the end of the month as part of a restructure around its streaming operations.

Pierluigi Gazzolo

The reshuffle will see VCNI chief operating officer (COO) Kelly Day promoted to lead international streaming at VCNI, while VCN Americas president JC Acosta will lead the ongoing expansion of ViacomCBS International Studios.

Reporting to David Lynn, president and CEO of VCNI, and working closely with Tom Ryan, newly appointed president and CEO of ViacomCBS Streaming, Day assumes the role of president of streaming alongside her duties as COO of VCNI.

Ryan’s promotion from his role as CEO of ViacomCBS-owned AVoD streamer Pluto TV also sees the departure of Marc Debevoise, ViacomCBS chief digital officer and president and CEO of ViacomCBS Digital, as Ryan assumes oversight of Pluto and the transition of CBS All Access into SVoD service Paramount+.

In her new position, Day will have oversight of the international roll-out of Paramount+, which is due to launch in 2021 across Australia, Latin America and the Nordics. She will also be responsible for the ongoing expansion of Pluto TV, following its successful launch in Latin America.

ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS) will supply original content to the new Paramount+ service in some markets, while continuing to supply scripted, comedy and reality series to VCNI’s free and pay TV networks and to third-party streamers and broadcasters.

Acosta, who oversees VCNI’s operations in Latin America and Canada as president of VCN Americas, is taking on the additional role of president of ViacomCBS International Studios. He will also report to Lynn.

Lynn said: “We are in the fortunate position of going from strength to strength with this transition. With a truly global streaming organisation, it’s a pivotal moment in the evolution of our streaming strategy, with the expansion of Paramount+ and Pluto TV, both of which are critical to our future growth.

Kelly Day

“Kelly has an enviable track record of launching and growing streaming businesses and has added a layer of extraordinary digital expertise to our management team in a short space of time. I’m confident Kelly will accelerate our transition to becoming a more digitally led business while seizing our global streaming opportunity.”

During Gazzolo’s tenure, he established the content proposition, team and strategy for the international launch of Paramount+ and developed an international strategy for the acquired Pluto TV business.

Prior to taking up his current role in November 2019, Gazzolo was president of Americas for Viacom International Media Networks, which was renamed VCNI after Viacom and CBS merged in December last year.

Based in Miami, he oversaw the expansion of the company’s operations across Spanish-speaking Latin America and Brazil, spearheaded by two key acquisitions: Argentina’s leading free-to-air broadcaster, Telefe (2016), and a majority stake in Brazilian comedy producer Porta dos Fundos (2017).

Combining Telefe’s studios business and Porta dos Fundos with VIMN’s existing production activities in the region, Gazzolo formed VIS and secured its first sales to both Netflix and Amazon Prime, as well as a host of other deals with broadcasters and streamers across the region. Under his leadership, VIS has expanded its production activities in the UK, Europe and Asia.

At the same time as leading the company’s operations in Latin America, Gazzolo continued to lead kids’ subsidiary Nickelodeon internationally, outside the US.

Gazzolo was previously COO for VIMN (2011 to 2014) and its predecessor MTV Networks International (2009 to 2011), reporting to Bob Bakish, who is now CEO of ViacomCBS. Before 2009, he held several different roles with the company, including serving as president of MTV Networks Latin America.

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